May 2008

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That happened to me while in Vegas as well at Ceasars, only they did not solve the problem. I trekked all the way to the room we had reserved months in advance, only to find out it was already in use. Nobody was there either. I could have robbed this guy blind, but thats not my style. However, I just decided to leave an unflushed dookie in his toilet with no other indication of ever being there. (he probably wonders about that to this day)
Anyway, I trekked back down, waited in line the same way as you, expressed some anger, and received a room that was supposed to be better. Trekked all the way to that room and it was also occupied but empty as well. I called the help desk from that room and while I was there another couple walked in who had the same problem.
We all went back down and I was an asshole. (nice guy approach was not working) They refused to give comps saying it wasn't their policy and insisted they had no rooms left at all. After defining to them that Vegas was the definition of comps and arguing for an hour, we had our way with a free steak/wine dinner in an apartment sized room for the weekend. Life was grand from that point on.


There are the chronic complainers for whom you will never give satisfaction. For them, I reserved my, "Well, sir! You certainly are a problem now, aren't you?"

Invariably, they would answer, "Yes I do!"

I always hoped that they'd be on their way home at the end of the day and suddenly think, "Wait a minute! What'd he say to me??"

That and, "Excuse me! I didn't mean for you to get in my way like that." are my two favorites for dealing with rude, thoughtless, or beligerently stupid people.

Benson Taylor

Hey why don't you try DSL. I work with Qwest and could hook you up. Up to 7Meg in some areas. Email me and we could see if we could help. I have had Dsl for 4 years and when it rarely stops working I just have to unplug the modem and then plug it back in.


When I was 5, my parents took our car in to the dealership for some work. Should have been and in and out job, at most we would have to leave the car overnight. After being told it was still being worked on for over a week, AND noticing that it didn't appear to have even been moved any closer to the garage than the day we parked it at the service mom informed the dealership service department that she would just come in and wait in the lobby the next day until it was ready. They said that it might take a while...she told them that was fine, she didn't mind waiting.

The next day my mom showed up at the dealership with me, my sister, and my two cousins(who lived nearby) and settled us in the showroom of the dealership. We were all between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. She then openned up 4 sets of finger paints, markers, play-doh, and I can't remember what else now... When the general manager nervously showed up to ask what he could help her with, she said (in an over-the-top sweet voice) that she was fine, and just waiting on the repairs to her car to be finished.

It was done and we were out of there in 30 minutes. I remember being upset that we couldn't play longer.


I agree, when I was a waitress (admittedly for 6 weeks only one summer), the biggest tips were from people who complained but were then satisfactorily (is that even a word?) helped (by me of course).


Not a fan of Starbucks, but I was in the mall last week, bored as I waited for my wife and little girl shopping for "girlie" stuff, so I thought I'd get a cup of coffee. Not anything fancy, just a cup of coffee. When I placed my order, the very nice young lady explained that she just started a fresh pot, and would be about 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, I was handed a my coffee, and was told it was free for having to wait. I insisted that I didn't mind, and offered to pay, but she wouldn't let me. Don't know if this is store policy, or if she was just being a great worker.


I once camped out in front of the front desk. Our A/C was dead on arrival, and the room was literally fuming. We actually had to stay out a bit after they fixed it to let the place cool down a bit.

The whole opening our suitcases in the main lobby and starting to sift through our stuff did help hasten the staff, I think.


I 100% agree about the customer service. I was in Vegas when all the snow hit Colorado in December. We had already checked out and were at the airport when they announced our flights home had been cancelled. We headed back to the Mirage and the manager made sure we had lodging for as long as we needed and she gave it to us for 1/2 price. We ended up taking a bus to get home because we didn't want to be away from family over Christmas and when I contacted Frontier and informed them of this they refunded my money on the spot, no red tape, took less than 5 minutes. After that I'd fly Frontier and stay at the Mirage anytime.


Similar experience. Four of us had rented a time-share for a week, and we arrived fairly late (after 10 pm). We walked in and noticed someone had 'left' some flowers and a card on the dining table. It was Valentine's day, so we thought the maid just forgot to clean it up. After a few minutes of loud talking about how nice the place was, I started to carry the bags up to the second floor. Then a woman in fairly sexy evening apparrel stood at the top of the stairs, and informed us the place was already occupied. We never considered the indignant approach because we were laughing too much on the way back to the front desk!

Greg O. Draven

I recall once complaining that the contents of the Bible in my hotel room were entirely fictitious. The clerk didn't quite get it.

Planned Obsolescence

So... I... will... respond... slowly...

I've never been to a hotel in Vegas, but they have some great tennis venues. I hope you got to play tennis while you were there. Otherwise, it sounds like a wasted trip... other than the fact it provided fodder for quite an hilarious blog post!!


I used to work in customer service and did notice that mostly people wanted to hear that you care. I have a good customer no service story though. My company was having their holiday part at a large chain hotel. My wife's best friend had just been hired by my company and as a gift I paid for her hotel room for the night. The day before the party she asked if it would be a probolem if they got there before me. I said I don't know and called the reservations desk. I asked the clerk if she could check in even though I would be about an hour behind her and would pay for the room then. She said no problem. The next day as I am geeting ready to go she calls and says they won't let her into the room. I call the hotel and ask them to let her into the room and they say okay. She tells me the manager was quite rude to her. So I am quite angry and ready to yell at them. By the time I get there I calm down and all I am expecting is an apology from the manager for the confusion. I go to check in and the clerk tells me the assistant desk manager would like to speak with me. He proceeds to complain to me about how he should never have let her into the room. I respond with if this was going to be a problem the reservations desk should have told me yesterday and I would have paid for the room then. He continued to argue with me telling me I need to see it from his point of view. I got so frustrated I told him I am the customer he doesn't get a point of view. I remained calm never using profanity or raising my voice. I get to the room and see a comment card that says they guarantee 100% satisfaction. I fill it out explaining the whole thing. Realy all I want is an apology for his rude behaviour. I wait 6 weeks for a response. I call their custoemr service line. They say gee we got the card and it says it has been taken care of. I say I waited six weeks and have heard nothing. They say we will contact the manager at the hotel I stayed in. Two days later he calls and apologizes and says he has discussed this with the desk manager and this type of thing won't happen again. I thank him and he offers me a coupon for a free night stay in his hotel. I accept. A couple of months later we decide to take the kids and stay at the hotel. I call to book the room and when they enter my name and address into the computer the desk clerk says hold on. I wait on hold for 5 minutes and the manager comes on the line and confirms who I am and then says "Because of the problems we had with your stay back in January we would prefer that you not stay in our hotel." I couldn't believe it after sending me the free night coupon they banned me from the hotel. All over a complaint about a rude manager. I called the national custoemr service line and asked them what is going on. At least this person had the sense to apologize. I told it is begining to feel personal. Everytime I complain rather than take care of the problem they just poke me in the eye. Finally three weeks later they refund me the cost of one nights stay. It was so bad I tell everyone I know to never stay in that hotel. I have spent the last year actively discouraging people from staying there. The hotel was the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton WI. Never stay there there is a hotel across the street with much better service.


I work for a Bed & Breakfast and guesthouse reservation service. Last week was spring break in Texas. It coincided with some much needed rain. We had a customer ask for a refund because, even though we can't control the weather, we should have done something about the puddles.

While I never got aggravated enough to go on a shooting spree, i did have the ammo lined up on the edge of the desk.

Brilliant post, Scott. Thanks!


Your blog today is priceless!

I've been in Customer Service for many years, now. Thankfully, I work on the phones, so I can roll my eyes as much as I need to.

My two favorite Recreational Complainers so far:

2. The Swedish man who threatened to sue me (using my "phone name", mind) when I called to tell him we were unable to confirm his reservation and were therefore refunding his money in full.

1. The American who said we "ruined his lifelong dream" because the Porsche he had reserved in Germany had a tiptronic instead of a stick shift.

My least favorite: the man in Santiago de Compostela, Spain who said it didn't matter how many bombs had gone off in Madrid that morning, he wanted his automatic car right then and there.


Loving the ad free, pop-ups free website.

Side note - I enjoy practically all your posts - and often wonder how you manage to come up with something to write about on a daily basis. Its interesting to see how you manage to put a readable spin on everything. Nearly everything you have to say, I am interested in reading.

Its wonderful to be able to communicate with, and almost instantly grip a total stranger.


I cannot believe I just spent several minutes reading this post! The indignation I would have expected from the title is expressed only briefly and a good two-thirds of the way down. I am outraged at this misrepresentation and I expect a full refund. Now, if you could just post something really good - perhaps about free will or something vaguely anti-religious - I just might be happy.

Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

I think Recreational Complaining is actually a degree here in Italy.


For your delectation...this is a (supposedly) real letter of complaint that did the rounds in the UK a few years ago...

Dear Cretins,

I have been an NTL customer since 9th July 2001, when I signed up foryour 3-in-one deal for cable TV, cable modem, and telephone. During this three-month period I have encountered inadequacy of service which I had not previously considered possible, as well as ignorance and stupidity of monolithic proportions. Please allow me to provide specific details, so that you can either pursue your professional perogative, and seek to rectify these difficulties - or more likely (I suspect) so that you can have some entertaining reading material as you while away the working day smoking B&H and drinking vendor-coffee on the bog in your office:

My initial installation was cancelled without warning, resulting in my spending an entire Saturday sitting on my fat arse waiting for your technician to arrive. When he did not arrive, I spent a further 57 minutes listening to your infuriating hold music, and the even more annoying Scottish robot woman telling me to look at your helpful website....HOW?

I alleviated the boredom by playing with my testicles for a few minutes - an activity at which you are no-doubt both familiar and highly adept. The rescheduled installation then took place some two weeks later, although the technician did forget to bring a number of vital tools -
such as a drill-bit, and his cerebrum. Two weeks later, my cable modem had still not arrived. After 15 telephone calls over 4 weeks my modem arrived... six weeks after I had requested it, and begun to pay for it. I estimate your internet server's downtime is roughly 35%... Hours between about 6pm -midnight, Mon-Fri, and most of the weekend. I am still waiting for my telephone connection. I have made 9 calls on my mobile to your no-help line, and have been unhelpfully transferred to a variety of disinterested individuals, who are it seems also highly skilled bollock jugglers.

I have been informed that a telephone line is available (and someone will call me back); that no telephone line is available (and someone will call me back); that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is available (and then been cut off);that I will be transferred to someone (and then been redirected to an answer machine informing me that your office is closed); that I will be transferred to someone and then been redirected to the irritating Scottish robot woman...and several other variations on this theme.

Doubtless you are no longer reading this letter, as you have at least a thousand other dissatisfied customers to ignore, and also another one of those crucially important testicle-moments to attend to. Frankly I don't care, it's far more satisfying as a customer to voice my frustration's in print than to shout them at your unending hold music. Forgive me, therefore, if I continue.

I thought BT were shit, that they had attained the holy piss-pot of godawful customer relations, that no-one, anywhere, ever, could be more disinterested, less helpful or more obstructive to delivering service to their customers. That's why I chose NTL, and because, well, there isn't anyone else is there? How surprised I therefore was, when I discovered to my considerable dissatisfaction and disappointment what a useless shower of bastards you truly are. You are sputum-filled pieces of distended rectum incompetents of the highest order. British Telecom - wankers though they are - shine like brilliant beacons of success, in the filthy puss-filled mire of your seemingly limitless inadequacy. Suffice to say that I have now given up on my futile and foolhardy quest to receive any kind of service from you. I suggest that you cease any potential future attempts to extort payment from me for the services which you have so pointedly and catastrophically failed to deliver - any such activity will be greeted initially with hilarity and disbelief quickly be replaced by derision, and even perhaps bemused rage. I enclose two small deposits, selected with great care from my cats litter tray, as an expression of my utter and complete contempt for both you and your pointless company. I sincerely hope that they have not become desiccated during transit - they were satisfyingly moist at the time of posting, and I would feel considerable disappointment if you did not experience both their rich aroma and delicate texture. Consider them the very embodiment of my feelings towards NTL, and its worthless employees.

Have a nice day - may it be the last in you miserable short life, you irritatingly incompetent and infuriatingly unhelpful bunch of twats.


Tobie Fysh

"Experts say that the most loyal customers are ... ones who had a problem that was resolved."

That’s the reason my wife and I would not go back to First Choice explains more!


Reminds of a mild version of the check-in scene during the police convention in the film "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" ;-)) Well worth a look.

Mikael Ångman

On the way down to Africa with my family, utilizing the cheapest possible airlines (which meant stops in Moscow, Cyprus and Yemen), my father got to express the same righteous indignation. Given, we didn't expect much in terms of comfort, service, or even security when we flew with Aeroflot just as the Soviet Union was falling apart. But when we found that our five seats, say 21-25, were actually missing, we were somewhat perplexed. Seats 1 to 20 were "first class" and Aeroflot had skipped "business class" so coach was next with seats 26 and upwards. We later came to the conclusion that the forward pentry had been expanded and swallowed our seats.

Fortunately my father had perfected his expression of "righteous indignation" during long trips around the globe, so instead of the free seats scattered throughout coach we were first offered, we were placed in seats 1 though 5, in first class. We were lucky my father didn't notice the AK47-wielding man that guarded the entrence to the aircraft, or he would probably would have settled for the cargo hold.


"Experts say that the most loyal customers are not the ones who had a flawless experience, but the ones who had a problem that was resolved."

You listen to 'experts'?
If i have a flawless experience i go back. If a problem is resolved nicely, i go back.


WOW u write real good!


I once spent 22 hours at LAX, because of United Airlines, but the email I sent was less about the hassle and more about the great customer service I received.


I went to Best Buy once. Bought the Matrix Reloaded when I really needed Matrix Revolutions. Maybe it was vice versa...I don't really care at this point.

I took the unopened DVD back to the store and was directed to Customer Service. The lady there told me that without a receipt, she couldn't help me. I asked for the manager. She went over and talked with someone and said, sure, she'd go ahead and exchange the items. I grabbed the other movie and she proceeded to ring it through the register. Great, I thought, relatively painless and I didn't even have to use my indignation....WRONG!

She told me I owed another $8.00. I looked at her like she was crazy. She said she had to use the sale price. (the movie was on sale, but then again, the ENTIRE Matrix trilogy was on sale. All at the same price). I understand this policy when someone is asking for cash back or upgrading to a more valuable item, but when the two items have the exact same cost, sale price, and almost exact same title, I can't figure out this deliberate abuse of customers.

Something snapped and I said to the clerk, "aren't you going to buy me a drink first?" She looked confused and asked, "Why?" "Well," I said, "usually when someone is going to screw me, they buy me a drink first." Like I said, something snapped. Clerk started CRYING. Went and told her manager who proceeded to call security and kick me out.

Dumb bastards at Best Buy. I have 5 TVs in the house, 3 AV Tuners, 2 Computers/monitors/printers, several large household appliances, 300-400 DVDs and a collection of over 5000 CDs. Many of these items will be replaced and upgraded in the coming year. Not only this, but I make the technology decisions for a $5 million corporation. Guess who won't get my money anymore! all over a stupid policy.

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